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Is vocal cord paralysis related to intubation, dysphagia and laryngitis? Would an existing tumor manifest so quickly?

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ENT Specialist
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My husband recently had lumbar surgery..he was intubated. following surgery he developed laryngitis and dysphagia since.
He never exhibited these issues prior to surgery. Recent ENT visit diagnosed right vocal cord paralysis. Think it could be related to intubation..and causing dysphagia.but looking for a tumor. Would an exisiting tumor manifest itself that quickly following surgery?

Posted Tue, 24 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 2 hours later

Thanks for the query

The post operative dysphagia could be due to either edema of the posterior pharyngeal wall following intubation, arytenoid dislocation or any bleeding or clots in the brain following administration of anesthesia.

1. Following intubation there will be swelling in the posterior pharyngeal wall due to the pressure over the mucosa. The presence of edema can lead to difficulty in swallowing.

2. During intubation there can be arytenoid dislocation which can lead to reduced movement of the vocal cords and hence dysphagia.

3. One of the rarest cause of dysphagia could be clots or hemorrhage in the brain because of anesthesia causing paralysis of the vocal cord and hence difficulty in swallowing.

It is very unusual for a tumor to cause dysphagia following intubation. If it were to be present before surgery the tumor would have been noticed during intubation by the anesthetists and they would have definitely reported regarding this. I feel a thorough physical examination aided by the radiological investigations can help us in diagnosing the cause.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
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